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Old 11-06-2019, 06:57 AM
kevin1

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Sporter accuracy: realistic expectations



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What kind of repeatable and consistent accuracy is a realistic expectation for sporter? Is shooting in the mid .2s realistic? I would like to get your perspectives to set a realistic expectation.
Basically, at which point, you consider that you have reached the accuracy limits of a sporter.

The reason I ask this is because at this point I’m contemplating going a few different directions and I don’t want to sidetrack some conversations I was having on the 1710 thread.

I have never been able to consistently shoot in the mid 0.2s at 50Y with any of my 22lr rifles (two Anschutz 1710, one 64MS, Kidd supergrade, CZ 455 DJ full custom, CZ 452, and a few others). Keep in mind that I’ve never done lot testing and never used a tuner.

My typical consistent accuracy has always been in 0.3s
I’ve recently bought an Anschutz 1710 HB that also shoots in the 0.3s at 50Y. But I’m getting very good accuracy at 100Y.

At this point, I'm contemplating a couple of options with the 1710 HB. I can either send it to the Lapua testing center and buy a case of the lot of Center X it likes, or go full custom on the 1710 (match barrel, bedding, and maybe a better trigger if that option exists).
But I don’t want to go full custom if the accuracy gain is marginal because I have an unrealistic expectation to consistently shoots in the mid 0.2s at 50Y.

BTW I also have factory CZ 452 Lux that shoots consistently in the .3s with SK Pistol Match Special. That’s why I was thinking that with something higher end I should be able to shoot in the mid 0.2s. The Irony is that I almost don’t shoot that CZ 452. I know it’s super accurate and it just sits in the safe…..I guess I mainly shoot guns that I think are not shooting to their accuracy potential.

Below pics:
Typical target at 50Y with 1710
My best 100Y target shot with 1710
Typical groups with the factory CZ 452 Lux



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Old 11-06-2019, 07:59 AM
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would probably cheaper to buy something that is already proven to shoot those kind of groups. not sure you would get your $ back out of a 1710 that had been rebarreled.

i get those kind of groups fairly consistently out of 3 of my 18 rifles (my MPR, my 452V and my 16" kidd barrel 10/22). a couple of others do it occasionally (my 17" GM HT 10/22, my 64 match, my 452 american, my wifes 20" kidd barrel 10/22), but they are more often in the .3s.

but to do this i have to lot test on the day. some days one lot will shoot, and other days another lot will shoot. the conditions around here change so much i have had fronts blow in, and my lot that was shooting quit shooting groups. and when i retested lots, a lot that wasnt shooting well was now grouping. so even if you get a great lot at the test center, i am not sure that would be a guarantee of consistency.

for the most part, i have quit buying more expensive stuff and instead spend the $ on more midgrade ammo. i usually take 6 to 10 different lots of ammo when i really want to shoot groups.

anyway, i would buy a bunch more ammo and lot test before i did anything to the rifle. you might also try a pressure point under the tip of the forend. all my anschutz have picked up consistency in group sizes with one. but there are always those days occasionally that no lot on hand will shoot to the rifles potential.

Last edited by Clem-E; 11-06-2019 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:48 AM
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The question of what reasonable accuracy is with a sporter rifle at 50 yards is one that is no doubt asked by anyone shooting such a rifle for accuracy. To further qualify and limit the question, what is reasonable accuracy with a factory sporter rifle, that is to say with a factory barrel?

Is it reasonable to expect to shoot consistent averages in the mid-.2's (.25"ish) with a factory sporter, even if it is an Anschutz?

It seems to me that there are at least four factors that will determine whether mid-.2's are realistic. One is the rifle itself, another is the ammo, a third are the conditions experienced while shooting, and the fourth is the shooter himself.

First, is the rifle up to it? The factory barrels on Anschutz rifles are among the best available on factory rifles. But they are not all the same because while most are average (very good for factory barrels), others will be less than average or better than average. In other words, some will shoot better than others, even when using the best shooting ammo for each one. Only a comparison of results between an individual rifle and others of the same model will give a idea of whether a particular barrel is average or otherwise.

Continuing with the rifle, Anschutz sporters are at a disadvantage to Anschutz match rifles, the single shot 54 action "target" models. First, while they may have a chamber that is closer to a match chamber than many other sporter rifles, they do not have a true match chamber because they are repeaters. Chambers can make a difference in accuracy results. Second, the stock on a 1710 HB is not an ideal design for bench shooting. To be sure it is better than the Schnabel-style stocks found on the 1710 DKL or the 1712, but it still has a relatively narrow forend with a round bottom, neither of which contribute to stability or easy manageability on a shooting rest front bag. That's not to say that it makes it impossible to shoot consistently well, only that it doesn't make the job easier. There's a reason that BR rigs typically do not use sporter-style stock configurations.

The ammo factor is well-known and doesn't require much further discussion. Ammo quality varies by lot, sometimes even with lots, as one box of ammo may not have enough rounds to reflect all the variation found in a certain lot. Suffice it to say that very good ammo is required for the very good results for mid-.2's accuracy. Lot testing is important in finding the most suitable ammo and the Lapua facility would certainly be very helpful indeed.

But even the "best" lot identified by careful lot testing is not necessarily a panacea for eliminating ammo-related fliers or anomalies. Writing in Rifleman's Guide to Rimfire Ammunition, author Steven Boelter noted that some noted BR shooters believed that there should be no more than one flier per 150 rounds (three boxes of ammo). He could only wish shooters the best of luck in finding ammo that was that consistent. His experience while preparing his book was that on average, regardless of manufacturer and cost, there were "at least a few fliers" per box of ammo. It's unclear whether ammo has become more consistent since Boelter's book was published 13-14 years ago, but the point is that even very good ammo has some flaws.

The conditions under which the shooting is done is very important. Shooting indoors can eliminate many of the problems experienced when shooting outdoors. Since most shooters can't shoot indoors, however, conditions remain a very important factor. The wind is a very important factor, all the more if it is gusting, changing speeds or direction. Even a slight, hardly noticeable crosswind of 2 mph is enough to move a bullet from where it would be with no wind whatsoever. In short, shooting outdoors can make the best accuracy a rifle is capable of producing difficult to realize.

Furthermore, without regard for the atmospheric conditions of temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure, there are other conditions that are more in control of the shooter that can affect accuracy downrange. The shooting bench must be as stable as possible to produce results that are as consistent as possible. Are the shooting rest, front and rear bags contributing to producing the best and most consistent results?

Finally, there is the shooter himself. This factor is not to suggest that the OP is not a good shooter. Its just that few shooters can be completely objective about their abilities. Few of us can say he has no room for improvement. Equally, how close to the upper limit of a shooter's ability is he? Many shooters can readily point to someone who can outshoot them with the same rifle.

It might be discouraging for the OP to compare the results he's achieved with his rifle to those achieved by others. But it's necessary to compare apples to apples. It's easy to see that the rifles are different, as is the ammo (those lots are long gone), but what of the conditions and the shooter himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin1 View Post

Look at the accuracy that these guys are getting with a Sako sporter.

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...sl/print_topic

http://www.accuratereloading.com/2013/sakop04r.html

I'd be really happy to get something close to that.
The OP should keep in mind that the results posted in those links were shot in a tunnel, as shown in pictures posted by Saeed on April 25, 2010 in this thread http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...3/m/9871088921

An accuracy standard of mid-.2's (.25ish") with a factory sporter Anschutz 1710 HB is a lofty objective. Is it achievable with a custom barrel? Perhaps. But there are other factors that remain on the table that would still make it a challenge.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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I did a lot of rimfire BR years ago, mostly with a couple of Bill Calfee rifles built on 40X actions. Based on that experience, and a lot of casual shooting since, I believe your expectations are unrealistic. "Consistently in the 2's" just ain't gonna happen, sorry. The BR-50 target has a half-inch center. To get 100 points, the bullet has to be fully within the circle (worst-edge scoring). That means the rifle would have to be capable of consistent .28" groups to shoot a perfect score, which is extremely rare. Obviously, the shooter and the conditions are huge variables. But still, I believe you would find few custom bench rifles that would meet your goal, even from a machine rest indoors.

Back to your question, I've had a number of very accurate sporters, currently have an Anschutz 1710 and a custom Kidd. The 1710 will certainly shoot the occasional tiny group in the 1's or 2's. But, on a good day, when shooter and conditions cooperate, and I shoot 10 groups, I would expect an average in the mid 3's. All this of course assumes the right ammunition.... and good luck with that.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:48 AM
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I agree with the above post. I love to shoot groups with sporters and have had over 75 through the years, and many of the best ( most expensive ) brands. I have the data for all of them. I use a modified Pappas one piece rest with which I can lock down the forearm and the butt stock. I use 24x and 36x scopes and compare midrange cost match ammos as well as expensive match ammos in them. I typically have the triggers set to 1 pound or less and try various bedding methods and holding/shooting techniques. The very best of the sporters I've kept will still not consistently shoot in the 0.2's ( CTC, 50 yards ). However, the very best of them will at times shoot groups in the 0.10-0.15" range and sometimes in the 0.05-0.10" range. Consistency is the issue with sporters no matter what I've tried.
My 40x bench rifle will shoot 10 shot groups less than 0.25" with SK Standard + ammo ( tuner, 4 oz. trigger, etc. ). Typically, though, either Lapua Center X ammo or Eley Black Box ammo has shot the best in my sporters. Just my experience. YRMV
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:30 AM
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Kevin, I keep putting off buying a Anschutz as I don't want to be disappointed with the accuracy. I have gotten more into shooting sporters than target rifles as I love to be able to use them for squirrel hunting as well. I remember asking about a consistent 1/4" shooter and the general response was this is a tougher find than I would expect, I have come to believe that as well. I don't know if you can expect true 1/4" accuracy without a lot of work and shooting high end ammo.

I have rifles that have shot groups under 1/4" with my best being a rifle I built and my best friend has but it still probably averaged around .3 to .4 but it was 5 1/2lb sporter. I have others that average in that .3 and .4" range which is fine for me as they are squirrel rifles but will still shoot some pretty awsome groups with better ammo.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:14 PM
kevin1

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Thanks for the great feedback and your real-world experience. Thatís exactly what I need.

When I say mid 0.2s at 50Y, Iím talking about the mechanical accuracy of the rifle (which also assumes that itís shot in a tunnel).

Truth be told, I see conflicting information on the internet.

For example, I see Cooper providing test targets that shoots in the 0.1s, but Iíve noticed that people are not able to replicate that.

Also what about this Sako?
http://www.accuratereloading.com/2013/sakop04r.html

At this point, it seems to me that my expectation might not be realisticÖ..Which, believe it or not, is actually a good news.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin1 View Post

At this point, it seems to me that my expectation might not be realisticÖ..Which, believe it or not, is actually a good news.
From what I gather from your posts is that you have several good shooting guns. You want a sporter which will shoot like a benchrest gun which will be hard to get unless you can shoot first test and then buy if it meets your expectations. I really don't see that happening.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin1 View Post
When I say mid 0.2s at 50Y, I’m talking about the mechanical accuracy of the rifle (which also assumes that it’s shot in a tunnel).
Mid-.2's with an Anschutz 1710 HB barreled action in a vise shooting 50 yards in a tunnel might be possible with very good lot tested ammo. Why not? Unfortunately we can't know for certain until it is tried. What is also not known for certain is if your particular rifle is average-shooting for Anschutz, less-than-average or as good as it gets. Most likely it is an average-shooting example.

It's worth remembering that the Sako PO4R rifle targets shown in the link referred to above are the products of that particular rifle, which may be an average shooting Sako or an exceptional one. We don't know. What is clear is that Sako does not have some special magic, a barrel making secret, for example, that makes it ipso facto a better shooting rifle than other quality rifles. While Sako PO4R rifles can be very good shooters by anecdotal accounts, not all of them can be said to be especially good.

Last edited by Penage Guy; 11-06-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
I did a lot of rimfire BR years ago, mostly with a couple of Bill Calfee rifles built on 40X actions. Based on that experience, and a lot of casual shooting since, I believe your expectations are unrealistic. "Consistently in the 2's" just ain't gonna happen, sorry. The BR-50 target has a half-inch center. To get 100 points, the bullet has to be fully within the circle (worst-edge scoring). That means the rifle would have to be capable of consistent .28" groups to shoot a perfect score, which is extremely rare. Obviously, the shooter and the conditions are huge variables. But still, I believe you would find few custom bench rifles that would meet your goal, even from a machine rest indoors.

Back to your question, I've had a number of very accurate sporters, currently have an Anschutz 1710 and a custom Kidd. The 1710 will certainly shoot the occasional tiny group in the 1's or 2's. But, on a good day, when shooter and conditions cooperate, and I shoot 10 groups, I would expect an average in the mid 3's. All this of course assumes the right ammunition.... and good luck with that.
I have to agree wholeheartedly with this post and the two right after it. As soon as I hear someone say his .22 LR rifle, sporter or BR, shoots 1/4" groups "all day long," I completely dismiss whatever else he or she might have to say. Of course, we all have fired some great groups, even in the .1"s, but they are flukes, and averaging mid .2"s for many groups is truly exceptional for a dedicated BR rifle. As ELH0102 points out, even the perfect score requiring .280" groups seldom happens, and that would be with lot testing, full-blown custom BR rifles, tuners, and under favorable conditions with a skilled shooter.

The most accurate .22 LR rifle I've owned averaged .273" for 33 groups, and I only fired that rifle during perfect conditions. It was a full-blown custom rifle with custom action and barrel, and the chamber was so minimal, it would not fully extract the fired case most of the time. I'm pretty sure, however, those averages would have opened up had I continued testing.

As to the incremental increase one should expect with a custom barrel, another fellow gunsmith buddy with vast rimfire experience once told me something I initially dismissed but with which I now completely agree. He said, "An Anschutz sporter should shoot 3/8" to 1/2" groups, with occasional 1/4" groups thrown in. Going with a full blown custom barrel, Lilja, Shilen, etc, will only increase your odds of getting more 1/4" groups, not guaranty it,"...for what that might be worth to you.

TBR
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:39 PM
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From TBR's post: "An Anschutz sporter should shoot 3/8" to 1/2" groups, with occasional 1/4" groups thrown in.

These are my thoughts as well...and my experience.(as an occasional casual shooter, not a resident range rat.)
The gun, ammo, and shooter can each only do so much.

Last edited by Camster; 11-07-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:54 PM
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Kevin, I don't know your plans for the rifle, but I would hesitate to put a ton of money in a custom sporter weight rifle. That's assuming your goal is accuracy, and not the aesthetics of a beautiful wood stock. Some of the BR smiths could certainly build you a very accurate sporter. Problem is, a light sporter rifle is difficult to shoot at a precision accuracy level, even if the machine work can yield it. A good factory sporter, such as the Anschutz, can shoot as well as most humans can hold it, and plenty good for hunting and casual target work. If precision accuracy from the bench is your goal, you should think about a dedicated bench rifle, from which you can actually extract most of that accuracy potential. Of course this is free advice, which is always worth its cost!
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:14 PM
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Everyone wants the 1/4" sporter, and I've pursued it myself for years.

Perhaps this will answer the OP's question best:

I have 2 Lilja-barreled sporters and one Shilen "Ratchet" barreled sporter, all with Lilja 1.5 degree "Match" chambers, hand-lapped, exceedingly smooth bores, and with definite chokes at the muzzle: a 52C/Lilja with original Micro-Motion trigger, an Anschutz 1427/Lilja biathlon rifle converted to sporter configuration with a 5071 trigger, and a Dakota/Shilen sporter fitted with a Kenyon M70 trigger. I did all the work myself, so I know how it was done...and none of them will average .250" "all day long." Sometimes they get maddeningly close, but, no cigar...so far

The custom-barreled rifles seem to do slightly better and are slightly more consistent with more types of ammunition than some other very accurate rifles I own -- a 37 Sporter using its original barrel, a BSA Intl sporter using its original barrel, and a Mauser 340B sporter with its original barrel -- but, to most people, probably not worth the extra effort and cost.

Does that mean I wish I had stuck with factory Anschutz sporters or other accurate stock rifles? Hell No!!! I'm exceedingly pleased with all my customs.

TBR
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:43 PM
Donnie Powell
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I would think to consistently agg in the .2's it would take a custom benchrest rifle. Wind flags, a very good rest and bags, a lot of ammo that your gun likes and lots of trigger time. I used to shoot IR50/50 and centerfire benchrest.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:03 PM
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I can't add a great deal to all this except to say that my experiences mirror what has been pretty much said above. If I have a passion with guns at this point, it is in taking factory rifles and wringing the last bit of accuracy from them. I've burned a large amount of ammo in doing that to this point....and the experiments continue. I also shoot some of these rifles in club matches. One is a 1710 DKL that is probably more accurate than the normal one with my highest USBR score in a match a 243.

But my experiences tell me that to expect to average mid .2's with a factory sporter is a very tall order....frankly I've never seen one of the critters, though there seem to be a lot of them running around on the internet...... Sure, mine will turn in groups smaller than that...but it will also turn in groups larger than that....and that is with premium lot tested ammo. Part of the problem is that factory sporters tend to be erratic in their performance from day to day. They just aren't as consistent as a high quality custom built gun. And my experiences with the DKL, the 1710 DHB, and a 1712, tells me that it is a toss up as to which will likely be more accurate.

As far as the comments about the guarantee of the Cooper rifles, I owned a Cooper Jackson Squirrel that came with a truly impressive test target. Thing is, I never got it to shoot any where close to that well. Part of the problem may have been the excess headspace, the short firing pin that had to be replaced, and the offset stock holes for the action screws. I have no idea how they shot that factory target with that gun.

Good luck with your search...

James
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